Effective September 22, 2016, the State of Michigan has approved a new pilot program that would enable law enforcement to conduct roadside tests in order to determine if a driver is under the influence of any controlled substances. This new pilot program will be established in five separate counties throughout the State and will last for one year before it is evaluated for effectiveness, and a decision as to whether or not to continue the program will be made. In order for a county to be eligible to participate in the pilot program they must have a law enforcement agency, such as a state police post, a sheriff's department, or municipal police department, where at least one officer who is a certified drug recognition expert is employed. A certified drug recognition expert is a person who is trained and able to identify if a person is under the influence of illicit drugs, in addition to alcohol. The county must also create a written policy and guidelines for the implementation of their procedure, after the state police have created their own administrative rules for the new program.
In 2008, Michigan voters approved a referendum permitting the use of marihuana for medical purposes. This voter referendum led to the creation of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA). The MMMA creates an immunity from arrest, prosecution, and penalty for the use of marihuana by qualified patients, who are in full compliance of the Act. Additionally, the MMMA provides a defense for those who are not completely within the requirements of the Act.